10 Songs, 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Everybody in Nashville loves Guy Clark,” Townes Van Zandt once said in an interview. “It's the way he is, he's so sincere and all, and so straight-ahead. The people in Nashville… put a whole lot of value on 100% sincerity and manners, courtesy to ladies, all that, and Guy's naturally that way." Clark never enjoyed the level of success granted to all the Nashville musicians who used his songs, but they came out to return the favor on Old Friends. Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell all chip in, while Sam Bush and Verlon Thompson burnish the performances with gentle bluegrass. It’s a formula that Steve Earle would basically steal for his 1995 comeback album Train A-Comin’. Old Friends didn’t make as big a splash, which is too bad. It’s Clark’s most intimate and familial record, and the emphasis is squarely on his songcraft. There are love songs (“Come from the Heart”), American vignettes (“The Indian Cowboy”), and tongue-in-cheek tributes (“Heavy Metal”), but nothing beats the title song, a naked duet between Clark and Harris that burns like the light from a single matchstick.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Everybody in Nashville loves Guy Clark,” Townes Van Zandt once said in an interview. “It's the way he is, he's so sincere and all, and so straight-ahead. The people in Nashville… put a whole lot of value on 100% sincerity and manners, courtesy to ladies, all that, and Guy's naturally that way." Clark never enjoyed the level of success granted to all the Nashville musicians who used his songs, but they came out to return the favor on Old Friends. Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell all chip in, while Sam Bush and Verlon Thompson burnish the performances with gentle bluegrass. It’s a formula that Steve Earle would basically steal for his 1995 comeback album Train A-Comin’. Old Friends didn’t make as big a splash, which is too bad. It’s Clark’s most intimate and familial record, and the emphasis is squarely on his songcraft. There are love songs (“Come from the Heart”), American vignettes (“The Indian Cowboy”), and tongue-in-cheek tributes (“Heavy Metal”), but nothing beats the title song, a naked duet between Clark and Harris that burns like the light from a single matchstick.

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